RF engineering basic concepts: the Smith chart
CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
The Smith chart is a very valuable and important tool that facilitates interpre-tation of S-parameter measurements. This paper will give a brief overviewon why and more importantly on how to use the chart. Its deﬁnition as wellas an introduction on how to navigate inside the chart are illustrated. Use-ful examples show the broad possibilities for use of the chart in a variety of applications.
With the equipment at hand today, it has become rather easy to measure the reﬂection factor
evenfor complicated networks. In the “good old days” though, this was done measuring the electric ﬁeldstrength
at a coaxial measurement line with a slit at different positions in the axial direction (Fig.1). ADUTfromgeneratormovable electric ﬁeld probe
Schematic view of a measurement set–up used to determine the reﬂection coefﬁcient as well as the voltagestanding wave ratio of a device under test (DUT) 
small electric ﬁeld probe, protruding into the ﬁeld region of the coaxial line near the outer conductor,was moved along the line. Its signal was picked up and displayed on a microvoltmeter after rectiﬁcationvia a microwave diode. While moving the probe, ﬁeld maxima and minima as well as their position andspacing could be found. From this the reﬂection factor
atio (VSWRor SWR) could be determined using the following deﬁnitions:–
is deﬁned as the ratio of the electrical ﬁeld strength
of the reﬂected wave over the forwardtravelling wave:
of reﬂected wave
of forward traveling wave
The electrical ﬁeld strength was used since it can be measured considerably more easily than the magnetic ﬁeld strength.